NBC's Streaming Service 'Peacock' Launching in July With Three Subscription Tiers

Carla Harmon
January 17, 2020

NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp is betting that viewers who have abandoned traditional pay TV and are tired of being asked to open their wallets for multiple streaming services will embrace a no-cost alternative with commercials. Premium customers have the option of upgrading to an add-free package, but that will cost an additional $5 per month. It includes next-day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series, entire runs of classic series, movies, curated daily news and sports programming (including the Olympics), Spanish-language content, what the publicity is calling "select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series", along with such channels as "SNL Vault", "Family Movie Night" and "Olympic Profiles".

Despite its bad name (they couldn't even avoid Peacock jokes during the presentation itself, with Fallon asking, "What names did you turn down to before settling on Peacock?"), the service has a chance to grab a slice of the streaming market thanks to its decent back catalog and NBCU's plans to promote the service heavily during the Summer Olympics on NBC.

All of this programming will come with commercial interruptions.

State Farm Life Insurance Co., Target Corp. and Unilever will be the first set of advertisers on Peacock.

Peacock Premium is the $5-per-month plan that unlocks pretty much everything in the catalog but still comes with ads. It'll still have adverts, though likely fewer of them, and include full season Peacock originals and "tent-pole series", plus next day access to current seasons of returning broadcast series.

NBCUniversal announced a slate of original programs, including a Battlestar Galactica reboot, a new version of Saved By the Bell.

Comcast executives have said they plan to spend $2 billion over the next two years on the streaming service and expect it to break even by its fifth year.

Peacock Premium: This service will be bundled at no additional cost to Comcast and Cox subscribers, and will be ad-supported.

The ad-supported version of the service will include a variety of ad products, including an e-commerce experience called "shoppable TV", plus 60-second "prime pods", interactive engagement ads, sponsorships called solo ads, editorially-selector curator ads, contextually relevant explore ads, topical trending ads, voice-based on command ads, and two others inspired by Hulu: pause ads and binge ads. This group can also purchase what Comcast subscribers get for $4.99 a month with ads, or $9.99 a month without ads. In total, NBC says there will be around 7,500 hours of content on Free at launch. From July 15, meanwhile, everyone else will be able to sign up.

Competition ranges from $5-per-month Apple TV Plus and Disney's $7 per-month service. Netflix starts at $8.99 per month.

The service will launch nationwide on July 15, the company said.

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